The trauma of ignorance

What’s it like to not know something? To genuinely not understand or have realised the importance of some particular fact, concept, theory or way of thinking about life or any of the many things filling it. Because, how can we know what we don’t? If we’ve not bound any given piece of knowledge to self, presumably we just don’t have it – it’s not “there” in our worldview or frame for grasping reality.

And, of all the pieces of information flying at us each day, how are we to know which to hold to? While many of them come thickly coated with promises, threats, expectations or other forms of pressure, it’s still challenging to filter out all the truly reliable and essential while letting what’s non-essential fall away. Constantly determining how much everything matters seems inherently stressful. (Notes One)

Even if we manage to capture all the essentials, don’t we also need to combine them into a cohesive picture? Find the right balance, the right juxtaposition between the injunctions of society, family, culture, peers and community. This idea that various forms of knowledge have to live alongside one another – their edges blurring, breaking or bending to allow space for all life’s messy complexities.

If humans exist in a world of thought and make thoughts their own, the idea of what we take in and what comes of it seems intriguing (Notes Two). How many of us have entirely correct sets of ideas in mind? Fully aware of absolutely everything; having thought out the implications, origins, perspectives and intentions behind it all. In today’s blending world it’s seeming fairly unlikely.

Isn’t it much more likely we’re all living with some level of ignorance alongside many areas of insight and expertise? All those things we might simply be unaware of; our life never having brought them meaningfully to our attention. All we may not have seen the full significance of, for one reason or another. Aren’t the chances quite high that we all have “gaps” or misfiled, poorly defined pieces of information?

Given the nature of modern life, with all its voices talking at once, the idea of ignoring what “needs” to be ignored while taking in all we sorely need to know sometimes seems an impossible challenge. That we’re somehow needing to select between all we see – and, all it seems to mean – to update our evolving picture of all that life is. (Notes Three)

Not to say ignorance is acceptable; clearly, it’s risky for self and society in many important ways. But how are we to live alongside it? How are we to stand confidently in our knowledge, knowing it’s probably incomplete? How are we to manage that shaky trauma of realising what you didn’t know and wondering how you lived without it? How do we trust ourselves or others, knowing we’ve good reason to doubt?

Almost as if we’re needing some form of ongoing re-education or dialogue, to flesh out a fuller understanding of life without tearing ourselves to pieces.

Notes and References:

Note 1: Seeing what things mean
Note 1: Intelligence, wisdom & common sense
Note 1: If environment shapes us…
Note 1: Who can we turn to?
Note 2: Pieces of the puzzle
Note 2: Culture, thought & coexistence
Note 2: All we’re trying to uphold
Note 2: Acclimatisation to a world of meaning
Note 2: Learning all we need to know
Note 3: Threads, becoming a united whole
Note 3: Any choice but to take a stand?
Note 3: Life as adjustments in meaning

Looking back to the end of last year’s writing, Charting our own course perhaps stand somewhere alongside all this.

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Holding back, for the sake of others

In many ways, isn’t life always a question of the balance between us and others? Society as this fundamental concept of a place naturally filled with people all wanting to survive, belong, press forward, explore what they’re capable of and live meaningful, harmonious lives alongside one another. “The human” being the basic building block around which community is built and the whole system, somehow, has to revolve.

Sometimes it can feel like a dance – this wonderful choreography of everyone understanding their role, all they play into, and the nature of those moments where their existence regularly touches up against that of others. This idea that we might all grasp the meanings, the significance of each interaction, the issues playing into these decisions we’re making and ways it all comes together as a unit we might hope to comprehend.

More often, it feels like a battle – a place no one’s really willing to give an inch if that might mean “you” get ahead in some way while “they” miss out. This strange ongoing conflict between individuals and the collective nature of our existence. As if, having absorbed scientific notions of competition, we began seeing one another as threats to our own survival or advantage in almost every context of our lives.

Maybe it’s even “strange” that we try to coexist? Independent and ultimately quite self-centred creatures aiming to share all these undeniably limited resources within a finite space. Almost as if we’re destined for conflict and inclined toward seeing things from our own perspective – how else are we going to get our needs met in this aggressive battleground we’ve laid out for ourselves?

How are we ever to overcome our own, quite natural, self-interest and decide to act differently? It seems to require such trust to leave space for others: to not take something, say something or do something so that opportunity remains available. Almost a gesture of “getting out of our own way” to create valuable breathing space within society. Letting others take what they need, rather than all taking what we want.

Isn’t it becoming an increasingly difficult balance? All these paths drawing us off in all these directions, leaving so little common ground or time to get to know others, their needs, and how “all this” affects them. As if we’re all encouraged to plough on with our own interests, shoving others aside or leaving them in our wake.

Like in conversation, where we might easily dominate with our own concerns or ideas rather than listen and make space in our soul for another’s being to come to life in all its complexity. Don’t we have to silence ourselves? Creating room for other thoughts, struggles, feelings, priorities and dreams to take the place of ours.

My point being that we could go about things differently. Working from the concept of the human being, aren’t ideals such as tolerance, love, kindness, restraint and hope as much a part of our nature as this desire to push all others aside?

Notes and References:

Authenticity & writing our own story
Situations which ask us to trust
Mutual awareness and accommodation?
Rich complexity of human being
Giving others space to be
The power of understanding
Appealing to human nature or the human spirit
Self-love as a social foundation
Somewhere between ideals & realities

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Self-love as a social foundation

While there are clearly many things that could occupy our time or thoughts in life, how well’s any of it really likely to work out if our existence isn’t built on foundations of self-worth? Wouldn’t everything be on shaky ground if people were forever seeking the security of feeling we had the right to occupy our space and share our thoughts? As if we’d always be seeking something to lean on.

Almost as if our psychology might be inextricably bound up with the idea of love: the acceptance, nurturing interest and recognition of feeling that “we” are worthwhile; our innate qualities valuable; our very existence important for the world around us. That we’re not just some accident of consciousness so much as developing beings worthy of the utmost reverence.

As individuals, don’t we need space to be who we are? To unfold ourselves, understand what life is, and find opportunities for exploring and expressing our true nature while we contribute to building up this vast social world we’re born into. Hopefully, a space of curious understanding rather than oppressive control – somewhere we can unravel, discover and grow.

What’s it like to feel you’re never enough? That you just don’t have whatever is being deemed valuable: money, looks, youth, style, intellect, humour, confidence. There’s always going to be “something” we don’t have; something that’s simply not part of who “we” are and all we have to offer. Aren’t we all different? It seems only natural.

And who’s to say the world around us values rightly? That all we’re encouraged to admire truly deserves praise. As much as it might be lucrative for people to feel perpetually insufficient – especially if, holding to these impossible standards, we spread such thinking by way of our criticism – it seems likely this world could then be torn apart by our frustration at perceived imperfections.

Few people or attributes really seem that easily perfected, either. Chasing ideals or beating ourselves and others up for not yet having reached them seems such a recipe for disaster: that we might torture ourselves with idealistic notions, making “that” the pre-requisite for approval, love or respect. If humans are – and, generally always have been – flawed, what happens when society is arranged this way?

My point being that the human psyche seems to find a strange sort of home in the modern world – a place where all its flaws or struggles are somehow labels for how much we’re worth and ways others will judge us. As if, all around us, these impossible ideals forever taunt us with our quite natural imperfection or incompleteness. As if we’re never quite enough because we can never “be” everything. We’re just “us”.

Treating ourselves with nothing but love, wouldn’t we accept nothing less of others? From our own secure foundation, naturally seeing others with the same respect. This reciprocal recognition of innate human worth, where all our inevitable flaws are simply steps on the path of realising whatever might truly be valuable and worthwhile in life.

Notes and References:

What’s at the heart of society?
Looks, human life & all its worth
Can each be true to themselves?
Belonging & believing
Integrity and integration
All that we carry around with us
Value and meaning in our lives
How would we like to live?
Love of self

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Can each be true to themselves?

In terms of individualism, can we each just be true to ourselves? Regardless of convention, expectation or the opinions of others, simply be “authentic” with regards to our own experiences, thoughts, wounds, interests and inclinations. As if the world weren’t there to limit us in any way and we could just unravel all that’s within us honestly and insistently onto our surroundings. Is that what life is? Our honest unravelling.

Maybe it is. Maybe life is “always” the unravelling of all the individuals living within it: each person working through their own grasp of life; their own capacities or limitations; their own priorities, desires and concerns; their own attempts to find meaning, belonging or recognition within the complex interwoven fabric of all of our lives. Maybe we can’t help but be true to ourselves, given it’s the only thing we really have.

Yet it seems, in the past, that convention hemmed people in a little tighter by asking that “the self” bend to meet the firm expectations of their community. This idea that, in the balance of things, individuals “should” somehow hide or distort aspects of themselves in order for society to run smoothly. Truths, realities or struggles perhaps repressed for the sake of appearances or expediency. As if what’s hidden just disappears.

Almost as if “life” were covered over with some quaint veneer of politeness under which all the problems and frustrations simply grew toward the point we’re now finding ourselves. This picture of compounded, ignored or denied issues within society having been left to develop as they will – out of sight, left to their own devices as generation upon generation lived through the consequences.

It seems perhaps natural that such a situation would erupt and shift to its opposite: for all that’s within us to seek the light of recognition, acknowledgement, healing and release. That we would eventually realise that things must be addressed as they don’t simply “disappear” but inevitably remain within the lives and souls of all they affect. That perhaps all we’d been doing was sweeping our problems under the carpet.

What happens, though, when everyone’s pushing everything out into the open? If everyone’s vehemently insisting on their own concerns, perspectives, interpretations, priorities and interests. As if each individual wants to become “the way to be”, the archetypal human on which our collective understanding should be based. How are we to broker some new balance between us all in that realm?

Sometimes it seems individualism is like this tipping point where we’re pushing toward “self” at the expense of the shared spaces surrounding us all – a lever between self and community along which the balance of power has shifted quite dramatically.

Given we all live within one reality – interwoven by the countless moments each day where our choices and words unavoidably converge – and need, somehow, to share our thoughts around how to resolve all the many things happening within it, how’s that conversation to work if we’re all insisting on our own version of reality?

Notes and References:

Authenticity & writing our own story
“The Spirit of Community”
People, rules & social cohesion
Can we manage all-inclusive honesty?
Conversation as revelation
The power of convention
Do we live in different worlds?
All that we carry around with us
Integrity and integration

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Pieces of the puzzle

Doesn’t everything we do come together? Each step we take in thought, word or deed being something that will almost inevitably touch upon others as an indelible part of their existence – something completely beyond their control that we’ve essentially placed in their path. We might mainly be concerned with our own story, or that of those we care about, but aren’t we also simultaneously writing in one another’s stories?

As if all that we do is forever weaving in and out of other people’s lives, creating all these forces and situations that will eventually have to be dealt with. Years, decades or lifetimes down the line don’t things tend to make themselves felt? The ripples of our decisions somehow finding their way back as they rebound off the rocks of other forms of existence.

Sometimes it seems quite an overwhelming picture: that each person, absorbed in their own narrative, might be sending forth all manner of choices that’ll impact others and potentially compound before eventually being resolved. All these systemic, personal, environmental, social, economic or cultural actions that stand to combine in any number of ways and spread their consequences out in countless directions.

This sense in which we’re each pieces of a puzzle in charge of deciding what picture we’ll create by way of all the choices we’re making from our own individual understanding of life and how much any given thing might matter. Each person rightly feeling whatever’s happened to them in intensely personal ways as others’ estimation of the worth and value of their existence is etched through every moment of their lives.

Of all the steps we take in life, where did those ideas come from? How well do they still work, personally or collectively? If things aren’t actually working out as we imagined or hoped, might it not be better we unravel our thinking and change? Rather than plough on – trying to make things fit; blind to any pain or unforeseen consequences this might be causing – maybe it’s time to let go, rethink and do differently.

If we’re all part of this – all feeding into so many interpersonal, financial and cultural realities – isn’t the story being told through each one of us? As if, in any moment, we’re holding our piece of the puzzle and deciding what it’s going to be. The choices we make in every given situation “being” the part we play, the link we make in the chains happening all around us.

How are we to navigate such a life? One where the outcome isn’t dictated for us, but rests on our own understanding of the significance each action has within the essentially unregulated whole. As if our role might be to see and feel exactly how “all of this” fits into the bigger picture of our global existence – how it fits and why it matters.

In strange ways, Western society seems to have such beautiful faith in the ability each of us has to appreciate this picture we’re trying to create.

Notes and References:

Situations which ask us to trust
The incredible responsibility of freedom
With our words, do we cast spells?
Gaining clarity on the choices before us
What we create by our presence
Nothing short of everything
Charting our own course

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Charting our own course

Troubling as it might be, is it that we, in the West, must simply decide for ourselves? Look out at the world and, based on our understanding and sense of how much each thing matters, choose what we’ll buy into, do, say, think or believe. As if, somehow, this whole “project” was untangling all that might compel or coerce us, leaving us free to make up our own minds about what life will be.

It’s a beautiful notion, in many ways: that people might be worthy of such trust in their ability to grasp complex realities in thought then chart courses that’ll lead only in good directions (Notes One). It’s placing great faith in the institutions that guide us: those charged with preparing people for this quite staggering level of responsibility with all the consequences it entails.

Sometimes, though, it just seems a clamour of everyone talking at once, trying to win you over to their way of thinking. As if, in the middle of all this freedom, thousands on soapboxes are beckoning, threatening or berating us to accept their conclusions and follow whatever paths they’re proposing.

Between commercial, cultural or state actors and whoever else might have an opinion, how are we to filter through all we’re hearing? All those feeling it’s worth appealing to our psychological weaknesses or interests for the sake of whatever choice they might induce us to make. As if our freedom is simply this free-for-all with the future – profit or power – up for grabs. (Notes Two)

Whose understanding of “life” is so thorough they can confidently ignore all that needs to be ignored? Otherwise, aren’t we destined to listen to all this? Pay attention to this whole increasingly bizarre conversation in the hope of understanding what’s going on and where we should stand in response to it all. What kind of mental, emotional, physical or social burden is that?

The idea of maintaining a clear yet flexible grasp on reality – what life is, all that’s essential, the complex nature of human beings and their environments – sometimes seems unfathomably challenging. As if we’re each standing in front of it all, encased within our own personal concerns, trying to find our way and emerge with our values, soul and ideals somehow intact. (Notes Three)

How are we to navigate through all that’s thrown at us? All the stupidity, fear, anger or sadness. The convoluted, pressured explanations of modern situations. The social or intellectual weaponry that’s so often wielded within the deeply important battles for the future of this idealistic way of life. (Notes Four)

Don’t we, somehow, need to find the boundary to healthy ways of thinking? The place at the edge of ourselves where we can compassionately respond with good ideas for how to act. Thought might well incapacitate us if we’re not reaching the point where decisions arise from our reflections.

How are we to hold to all our values represent – act well, relate wisely to others – in the midst of this strange battle?

Notes and References:

Note 1: Thought, knowledge & coherent vision
Note 1: Being trusted to use our discernment…
Note 1: Responsibility for the bigger picture
Note 1: Gaining clarity on the choices before us
Note 2: Do markets create strange social forces?
Note 2: Appealing to human nature or the human spirit
Note 2: The battlegrounds of our minds
Note 3: Do we live in different worlds?
Note 3: All that we carry around with us
Note 3: Tuning out the static
Note 3: Bringing things into awareness
Note 4: World, heading for a breakdown?
Note 4: Words & relating as paths to change
Note 4: Nothing short of everything

Ways to share this:

Do we live in different worlds?

At this point, is it true that we essentially live in quite different worlds? Each person increasingly seeing this world their own way, informed by their own experiences, ideas and conclusions as to what it all means. Everyone, then, responding to what they encounter in their own way, based on their own values, beliefs and interpretations of what’s going on and how best to work within it to achieve their own ends.

Sometimes it really seems to be true, as if we’re each speaking from our own unique take on life – often, slightly at odds with how anyone else might be looking at the exact same realities. As if life’s now taking us off on all these tangents where, after a few left turns, we’re finding ourselves in quite different places, looking at things from different angles and reading them differently. (Notes One)

As opposed to a world of fairly common experiences, beliefs and responses, aren’t we now living quite differently? As if there’s no real common culture or set of ideas with which we’re looking at life, no common channels down which our thoughts travel. The landscape of our shared existence having been carved up by all these individual paths we’re taking to places where common ground seems to have disappeared.

Seeing ourselves as standing within reality and reflecting it in thought, what does it mean to be living that way? Each of us thinking whatever we like. Bearing in mind that our thoughts become our words, our connections with others and our relationship to the world, what happens if we each take our own path and believe it the only acceptable one?

Almost as if, alongside reality, there’s this world of thought – in reality, many worlds. Each of us creating this bubble of all we think and believe to be true: all these subtle, possibly unexamined ideas we have in mind about everything we’ve ever encountered and the narrative we’ve spun to connect, justify or understand it all. All of us carrying that world in our heads as we navigate the realities we still share. (Notes Two)

How well can those bubbles coexist? How interested are we in what others think? Should we just push our bubble over anyone else’s? Seeking to correct whatever “misconceptions” their life or thinking might’ve led them to. Or, might we be better off letting things merge into a larger, shared bubble capable of encompassing all of our experiences, perspectives and concerns in life? (Notes Three)

Clearly it must make communication important: if we’re to live like this, don’t we need to be skilful in tracking alongside one another in respectful, companionable ways? Otherwise, we’ll surely just experience life as a series of conflicts, disagreements or misunderstandings – feeling that others aren’t listening or aren’t interested in seeing what life is like through our eyes.

However we look at it, finding ways to stand alongside one another within this single reality of the systems and planet we share seems a challenge we all face.

Notes and References:

Note 1: All that we carry around with us
Note 1: Is there any end to the power of thought?
Note 1: Joining the dots
Note 1: Seeing where others are coming from
Note 1: Can “how we relate” really change?
Note 2: Connecting truthfully with life
Note 2: Where do we get our ideas from?
Note 2: The thought surrounding us
Note 2: Words & relating as paths to change
Note 2: With our words, do we cast spells?
Note 3: These ideas we have of one another
Note 3: Attention as a resource
Note 3: Modern challenges to relationship
Note 3: What does it mean to be tolerant?
Note 3: Can there be beauty in communication?

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All that we carry around with us

Until we figure it out, are we destined to be carrying things round with us? All the experiences, lessons, words, judgements, relationships, hopes, expectations, regrets, wounds, feelings and memories bound up within us or bubbling to the surface at a moment’s notice. As if life is all “in there” – every moment lived, all we experienced then or experience now as we revisit things.

As if “to be human” is to have our lives furled up within us: everything leaving its mark as it touches our consciousness, just as we, through our actions, are making impressions on the world. Isn’t it all there? Likely to be sparked off by all we innocently encounter each day as sights, scents, words or situations prompt things to rise once again to the surface. As if we live in both the present and in unbidden recollections of the past.

And doesn’t it tend to compound? As, each time we encounter something “similar”, we impose our remembered conclusions on “it” just as it’s adding further layers of confirmatory experience to our past. We “must” meet life with all we’ve “learnt” to that point: reading and reacting to things based on whatever we’ve known as true so far.

This sense in which we already have something in mind – our thoughts and emotions are primed to respond in certain ways, stemming out of all our lives have given us. As if we’re all loaded guns, stacked high with all the positive or negative experiences we’ve accumulated over time as we’ve lived alongside others in an imperfect world. (Notes One)

It’s incredible to imagine all anyone’s been through: all the formative childhood experiences, systemic exchanges, cultural pressures, affirmations or rejections at the hands of others. All that’s passed through each mind in light of each day’s events as the sense of their own worth is reflected, upheld or denied by the environment surrounding them.

What are we to make of it all? As individuals living through it, how are we to manage the strange billowing up of “life” yet respond to the present in ways that resolve rather than compound our struggles? Collectively, how are we to manage living alongside others who are going through such difficulties? Responding, hopefully, in ways that don’t make matters worse. (Notes Two)

Is it possible to make “life” a path of resolution? For us not to be leaving negative impressions and always be allowing their release. Otherwise, might this not simply compound forever? Layer upon layer of hurt people hurting others or responding in hurtful ways. Everyone punishing everyone else for any pain they’ve suffered and conclusions they drew about their own value, that of others or the value of life itself.

Sometimes it seems “society” – in all its systemic and personal complexities – is like a bomb we need to defuse. As if the past, with all its layers, has left us holding so many things we now need to resolve, let go of and heal if this isn’t to only get worse.

Notes and References:

Note 1: Does anything exist in isolation?
Note 1: Value in visible impacts
Note 1: The struggle with being alive
Note 1: All we want to do passes through community
Note 1: Complication of being human
Note 2: We’re all vulnerable
Note 2: Living as an open wound
Note 2: It resonates, but should it be amplified
Note 2: Personal archaeology
Note 2: Imperfection as perfection?

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How are we supposed to choose?

Between all the choices we’re presented with in life, how are we to decide which paths to take? Is it a fair question? As if our role here is to choose between, weigh our options, and reach personal conclusions in the face of it all. If we take that as our role, though, what are we to make of all this freedom? Given how so much in life now seems to be laid at the feet of our decision-making powers, it seems hard to say it doesn’t matter.

Isn’t it that, in every aspect of our lives, we’re faced with endless choice? All these options for what we might think, feel or believe; how we might act, look or present ourselves; which things we’ll buy into socially, economically or culturally (Notes One). As if “life” is us, standing in a room, choosing which things we’ll draw towards us and make our own; decisions that then ripple away to become realities for the world around us.

Sometimes it seems overwhelming, the amount of choice we have. As if we’re just swimming in a sea of options, struggling to see what’s best given the constantly shifting tides around us. How are we to see where our choices “sit”, what they really “mean”, and where they will “lead” for the realities we all share? Don’t we need to be clear on those things if we’re to make informed and responsible decisions? (Notes Two)

Within an essentially consumer society – everything carved up, packaged, and presented for our consideration – aren’t our choices of central importance? Each “thing” being a vote, an empowerment, a validation of what’s been offered and all that’s behind it. As if “society” parades all its ideas before us and we select which ones we’ll put our weight behind.

How much do we understand what it all means and all it entails in terms of social, economic or environmental forces? What are our choices feeding into within the inscrutable workings of this modern global system? If we’re given endless choice but very little insight into how it all comes together where might such freedom lead? Are we not responsible for all that our choices set in motion? (Notes Three)

This sense in which we now live in a world we don’t fully understand seems so important: if we have the power to choose but not the knowledge to make informed decisions isn’t that risky? What if the costs we’re saddling future-humanity with are something we wouldn’t want to pay? Isn’t it “wrong” that we might be “spending” assets which aren’t ours to trade?

Whether the obscurity of our choices comes from technology’s distracting interface or the hidden nature of our global realities, isn’t it important we use our freedom wisely? If we’re being presented with more choice than is manageable, perhaps we need to define our own parameters to ensure we’re not overlooking the essential. If our choice is between options we’re not happy with, maybe we should be demanding new paths.

Notes and References:

Note 1: Freedom, responsibility & choice
Note 1: What we create by our presence
Note 1: How much is in the hands of the market
Note 2: Pace of change & getting nowhere fast
Note 2: All we’re expected to understand
Note 2: Being trusted to use our discernment…
Note 2: Understanding & staying informed
Note 2: What if it all means something?
Note 3: “Response Ability” by Frank Fisher
Note 3: Writings on Education
Note 3: “Paradox of Choice”
Note 3: Interdependency

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These ideas we have of one another

When it comes to other people, which version of who they are gets to live? Don’t we all have quite different ways of being human? Different attributes, priorities or interests in terms of what matters most and what life is “for us”. We’re all so unique, so unprecedented in the experiences that’ve formed us and conclusions they’ve led us towards (Notes One). Yet, don’t we tend to judge one another on quite simple terms?

For some, it seems “life” is relationship: all we can create, tend or support in the ties we forge with others. As if “that’s” where life happens and one of the most important areas to focus our efforts. For others, action in the world seems more pressing: the roles we play and changes we help bring about in our surroundings. Others, perhaps, live more in life’s meaning and understanding the nature of existence.

Aren’t there many ways to be human? We might focus on what’s inside or outside: the qualities of our personality or the nature of our external appearance. We might be more concerned by the systemic, the conceptual, the ethical, the economic or the personal. We might be burdened by personal experiences and perspectives or freely give ourselves over to the lives and interests of others.

How, then, are we to relate to anyone else? Are we to evaluate their lives against our own ideas of it? Comparing “who they are” to “who we are”, noting all the differences, and feeling we can’t get along. Almost as if different ways of being human might make us incompatible – intolerant of the idea that anyone might live in the world differently. Anybody not reflecting “our” choices, we perhaps reject or attempt to change. (Notes Two)

Alternatively, do we suspend the self and allow this other version of “human” to come to life in our mind? Taking the time to listen; to hear how they see things; to appreciate all the endless differences in how we might live. Rather than compete and compare, might we not simply allow? Let go of our own ideas or assumptions to imagine life through the lens of another brain, another heart, another being.

What would it mean to do that? To suspend judgement and allow others to be, not our version of them, but theirs. Wouldn’t that light of non-judgemental interest and acceptance be nice? Especially if it were mutual. If, instead of competing for the chance to talk or be heard, we gave each other the space to be who or how “they” are. Even if that’s flawed, imperfect, struggling or stuck. (Notes Three)

Sometimes it just seems “a shame” that we don’t have the time to get to know all these different ways of being. That life’s so pressured we, perhaps naturally, drift towards those “like us” and set up self-reflexive camp “there”. What are we missing out on when we see others mainly through our eyes and never theirs? Why is it we’re tending to insist on ourselves?

Notes and References:

Note 1: Complication of being human
Note 1: Joining the dots
Note 1: The way to be
Note 1: Seeing, knowing and loving
Note 1: Tempting justifications of self
Note 2: Modern challenges to relationship
Note 2: Humans, judgement & shutting down
Note 2: Absolute or relative value
Note 2: Treading carefully in the lives of others
Note 2: Frameworks of how we relate
Note 3: Conversation as revelation
Note 3: This thing called love
Note 3: Can there be beauty in communication?
Note 3: Places of belonging & acceptance
Note 3: Going towards the unknown

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